Recipe by Sydney Mike
This recipe comes from the 1986 cookbook, I Hear America Cooking, & although some will tell you that 'pone' should be considered a veggie side dish, others will let you know that it's definitely a dessert! Well, research tells me that, whatever else it is, centuries of cooking account for it as a sweet dessert!
FOR THE PONE
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1⁄4 lb unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup light molasses
- 1⁄2 cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange, zest of, minced
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brandy (or rum)
- 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled, grated (raw)
FOR THE CANDIED LEMON SLICES
- 2 lemons
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
Directions See How It's Made
- FOR THE PONE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, then butter a 9"x9"x2" baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, with a hand-held mixer, cream the sugar & butter, then gradually beat in the molasses & orange juice.
- In another container, from the 1 lemon, mince the zest & set it aside while removing & discarding the white pith from the lemon. After that, seed the lemon & chop the pulp fine, before adding this pulp to the sugar/butter mixture, along with the orange zest, eggs, seasonings & brandy, mixing well to combine.
- Add the grated sweet potatoes & mix well, then smooth this mixture into the prepared baking dish & bake for 1 hour.
- FOR THE CANDIED LEMON SLICES: Meanwhile, cut the 2 lemons crosswise into 1/8-inch slices & remove the seeds.
- In a covered pan, boil the sugar with the water for 5 minutes, then remove the cover & boil rapidly until syrup reaches the soft-ball stage (236 degrees F), then remove the pan from the heat.
- Dip lemon slices in the syrup & put them on a baking sheet to dry until ready to use.
- As soon as the pone is done, transfer the entire pone square to a rack to cool.
- When cooled, cut into 12 bars & top each with a candied lemon slice.